A Jacksonville man and three Ohio men are charged with wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money-laundering and other offenses in an 83-count federal indictment returned in Ohio.
Prosecutors say 47-year-old Rudolph Coenen, of Jacksonville, along with Bradford Huebner, 65, Charles Emmenecker, 65, and Michael Teadt, 66, all of Ohio, cheated investors out of nearly $24 million.
According to prosecutors, the men convinced people to invest in non-existent hedge funds, and convinced them that after the Iraq War was over, the Iraqi dinar would appreciate greatly in value.
The indictment also alleges Coenen passed himself off as a decorated veteran of the first Iraq War.
"These defendants made false statements time and again to convince people to part with their savings and hard-earned cash," U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said. "The fact that one defendant falsely claimed he was wounded while fighting in Iraq is particularly egregious."